BOSTON — In the two weeks since the Massachusetts House rejected rules changes aimed at government transparency, the campaign for reform has gained two prominent supporters in U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton and the Boston City Council.
Three changes backed by the People’s House advocacy coalition would have publicized how representatives vote in committees, required all bills to be released at least 48 hours prior to a vote and reinstated term limits for the speaker of the House. While almost all Republicans voted for those changes, only a few Democrats supported the amendments.
All four representatives from Berkshire County voted against the changes.
Advocates said the changes would allow voters to hold their elected officials accountable by providing a window into a legislative process that they described as secretive and typically controlled by a small circle of leaders.
The Boston City Council voted unanimously on Wednesday to pass a resolution “urging action in the Massachusetts Legislature to uphold the values of transparency and accessibility to the people’s business.”
The government works for the people—not the other way around. I fully support the effort to increase transparency in the statehouse and commend those who voted for it. @act_on_mass https://t.co/qrv17PIvJU— Seth Moulton (@sethmoulton) July 14, 2021
Moulton, a Salem resident who represents the 6th Congressional District, wrote in a July 14 tweet that “government works for the people” as he shared a Boston Globe editorial condemning the House for rejecting the changes.
Act on Mass, a leading member of the People’s House coalition, noted in a news release that all 12 Democratic state representatives who share constituents with Moulton voted against the changes, and that 12 of the 17 Democratic state representatives in Boston rejected the amendments.
The group has pledged to continue its advocacy.